Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - March 16, 2018

State Specific

The Criminal Law (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2018

  • The Haryana Assembly unanimously passed a Bill which provides for death penalty to those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 years or less.
  • After Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Haryana has become the third State where the Assembly has approved the provision of capital punishment for such sexual offenders
  • The Criminal Law (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2018, moved by the state on the last day of the budget session
  • “After Section 376-A of the Penal Code, the following Section shall be inserted, namely 376-AA,”

Enlighten about section 376-AA

  • In case of rape of a girl up to 12 years of age, there will be a punishment of death or rigorous imprisonment of not less than 14 years which may extend to imprisonment for life

Enlighten about section 376 - DA

  • A provision 376-DA has also been added after section 376-D of the penal code.
  • Under section--376-DA, if a girl upto 12 years of age is raped by one or more persons constituting a group, each of those persons shall be deemed to have committed the offence of rape and will be punished with death or rigorous imprisonment for a term which will not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life along with a fine.
  • The punishment under Section 354 of the IPC (Assault or criminal force against woman with intent to outrage her modesty) will not be less than two years (earlier not less than one year) but may extend up to seven years (earlier up to five years).

Ministry of Ayush

CCRAS has developed and commercialized two drugs

  • AYUSH 82 An Anti Diabetic Ayurvedic Formulation.
  • AYUSH SG An Anti-Rheumatoid Arthritis preparation.

Enlighten about The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS)

  • It is an autonomous body of the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy), Government of India.
  • Dealing with the formulation, coordination, development and promotion of research on scientific lines in Ayurveda and Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine.

Cabinet decisions

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Iran for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors

  • In the areas of agricultural crops, agricultural extension, horticulture, machinery, post harvest technology, plant quarantine measures, credit and cooperation.
  • soil conservation and water management, integrated nutrients management, seed technology and agricultural marketing.
  • Livestock improvement, dairy development, animal health and other fields as mutually agreed upon fall within the scope of this MoU.

Cabinet apprised of an MoU signed between India and Sri Lanka for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics

  • The MoU intends to promote closer co-operation in the areas of e-Governance, m-Governance, e-Public Services Delivery, cyber security, software technology parks, start-ups ecosystem etc.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has been mandated to promote international cooperation in the emerging and frontier areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) under bilateral and regional framework of cooperation.

Science and Tech.

Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO)

  • The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) project has got a fresh lease of life with the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) taking it up as a special case and granting it environmental clearance to set up the lab in Bodi West hills in Tamil Nadu.

While granting EC, the committee stipulated specific conditions, of which two are key for the project to take off.

  • One is the consent to establish and operate to be obtained from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB).
  • The INO team has to obtain the necessary forest and National Board for Wild Life clearances as per law.
  • The Mathikettan Shola National Park in Idukki district, Kerala, is situated within five km from the project site.

Enlighten About the project

  • It is a multi-institutional effort aimed at building a world-class underground laboratory with a rock cover of approx.1200 m for non-accelerator based high energy and nuclear physics research in India.
  • The initial goal of INO is to study neutrinos.
  • This project is jointly funded by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

Enlighten about Neutrinos -

  • It is the second most widely occurring particle in the universe, only second to photons, the particle which makes up light.
  • They are so abundant among us that every second, there are more than 100 trillion of them passing right through each of us
  • The neutrinos have a tiny mass, but the ordering of the neutrino mass states is not known and is one of the key questions that remain unanswered till today. This is a major challenge INO will set to resolve

Neutrinos are by far the most numerous of all the particles in the universe (other than photons of light) and so even a tiny mass for the neutrinos can enable them to have an effect on the evolution of the Universe through their gravitational effects.

Applications of neutrinos -

  • neutrinos hold the key to several important and fundamental questions on the origin of the Universe and the energy production in stars.
  • It may helps in the detailed investigation of the structure of the Earth from core on wards. This is possible with neutrinos since they are the only particles which can probe the deep interiors of the Earth.


World bank report of India’s economic growth

  • The World Bank forecasts India’s economic growth will accelerate to 7.3% in 2018-19, from 6.7% in the current financial year, before gathering momentum to a 7.5% pace in 2019-20.
  • The Central Statistics Office has projected GDP growth for the 12 months ending March 31, at 6.6%.
  • Despite shocks such as the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, and demonetisation, the growth path is back on trend.”
  • The report highlights several challenges facing the Indian economy that need prioritised attention.
  • These include the poor state of private sector investments which need to be enhanced through measures “that assure a favourable investment climate while reducing policy uncertainty”.
  • “Reviving bank credit to support growth is critically important
  • Implementation of the new Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is an important step towards improving credit behaviour

World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) 15 March

  • an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement.
  • It marks the date in 1962 President John F Kennedy first outlined the definition of Consumer Rights.
  • It is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers, for demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and for protesting the market abuses and social injustices which undermine them.
  • Theme: ‘Making digital marketplaces fairer’.
  • WCRD was first observed on 15 March 1983

Consumers International (CI)

  • founded in 1960 organises WCRD.
  • It is the only independent and authoritative global voice for consumers and has over 220 member organisations in 115 countries around the world.

Consumer protection act:

  • India adopted the Consumer Protection Act in 1986


ASHTRACK Mobile based Application to help Fly Ash Users & Power Plants

What’s new -

  • Government has reduced the GST rates on fly ash and its products to 5%.
  • To facilitate 100% ash utilization by all coal based thermal power plants,

Enlighten about ASHTRACK

  • A web portal for monitoring of fly ash generation and utilization data of Thermal Power Plants and a mobile based application titled “ASHTRACK” has been launched that will help to establish a link between fly ash users and power plants executives

Minority Welfare

Cyber Gram Project Digital Literacy of Minority Communities Chandauli in Alwar district of Rajasthan.

Implementing Ministry

  • The Ministry of Minority Affairs
  • A pilot project for minority Cyber Gram for digital literacy in a minority dominated village Chandauli in Alwar district of Rajasthan.
  • The initiative covers students of Class VI to Class X belonging to notified minority communities(Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains) residing in minority concentration areas indentified under Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP).
  • The project is being implemented through Common Service Center (CSC) e-governance India Ltd-a company under Department of Electronics and Information Technology with support of States/UTs.
  • The funds per candidate sanctioned under the programme is Rs.1555/- which is shared by Central Government and State.

Renewable Energy

Uttar Pradesh biggest solar power plant At Mirzapur

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and French President Shri Emmanuel Macron inaugurated Uttar Pradesh’s biggest solar power plant of 75 MW capacity in Mirzapur

Implementing bodies -

  • These solar parks are being set up by Lucknow Solar Park Development Corporation(LSPDC) which is a joint venture of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Non-conventional Energy Development Agency (NEDA) under UP Government

Set up by -

  • The power plant has been set up by the French firm ENGIE through a transparent bidding process under the Solar Park Scheme of the New and Renewable Energy Ministry.
  • Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for the project at the rate of Rs.74.25 lakh per MW has been provided by the Government of India for the project.

Sources – the hindu, livemint, pib, ie